Would you take labour tips from Dr. Seuss? Maybe you should!

Today, Dr. Seuss would have been 110 years old! I remember reading his incredulous books as a kid and laughing at how funny they were. Humorous, but also filled with empowering and positive affirmations for children and adults alike. Now, many years later, I find myself reading them with my kids and laughing with them as we delve into the misadventures of Thing 1 and Thing 2!

As I reread Dr. Seuss’ great stories, I find myself thinking that he would have been a great doula! Why? Because as I was reading, some of the better-known quotes jumped out at me and made me think of birth (as many things do every day!). Here are my favourites:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

I admit, when I was pregnant I read a lot about labour and birth. For me, knowledge equaled power and with power I could be better prepared to make the right choices for me and my baby. I wanted to be an active participant in my birth, and not feel that my power was taken away from me. As a doula, I am sometimes surprised at how many expectant parents are not well informed. Not informed about the labour process or about their rights, among other things. I urge all expectant moms to get informed and be part of the decision making process from the beginning.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy girl who’ll decide where to go. ”

How often do we put our entire trust in our caregivers? Too often. Expecting parents are afraid of asking the important questions. We believe or assume that our caregivers know everything, but they don’t – they are only human. We know ourselves best. We may be a guest in their house, but that should not mean we give all responsibility for our bodies to someone else. Choose the right caregiver, ask the hard questions, inquire about alternatives, negotiate, discuss until you have the right answers.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

I wish that all babies could have a gentler entry into this world. Baby has just made this incredible journey, and is born into a cold room with lots of sound and bright lights; she’s then rubbed down, prodded and suctioned. So, even if they are small and can’t speak, newborns are people too! Luckily skin-to-skin is now becoming the norm and we are working towards gentler births.

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”

We live in a birth culture that is based on fear. Many expectant moms I meet are afraid of giving birth. Afraid of not being able to birth, afraid of the pain, afraid of tearing, afraid their breasts are too small or too large to feed their baby. The list goes on. Fear can, however, definitely hinder birth and make it much more painful and traumatizing than it needs to be. So, expectant moms, learn about birth, what to expect, how to manage pain, gather a great team around you so that when baby decides it’s time, you may feel nervous perhaps, but not afraid. You will feel safe. You will feel powerful in the knowledge that you can do this.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!



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